“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Greetings from Elim Christian Center, Poland.
Thank you each one so very much for all the years of encouragement, prayer and support received for the ministry and families of this mission. Thank you to those who have recently visited the Mission, for your encouragement through emails, letters and phone calls. We do thank the Lord for each one of you!
The Elim Mission has just celebrated its 20th anniversary last November 2012. God is so Faithful! He has sustained and developed the mission outreach in so many wonderful ways.
In this newsletter we wish to share with you briefly a little about each family who is currently serving through this ministry in Poland. Many of you know the staff personally, so for those who do not this will be an opportunity to share their brief history and introduce them to you. Attached is their most recent family photo.
Elim Mission Staff
Ken and Giselle Herweynen
Are Australians who were called by God to serve Him in Poland since 1991. They had been serving as missionaries in Germany for the 4 years prior, and shortly after the fall of communism they entered Poland to live as a family in a caravan with their 3 young sons (Stephen, Ryan and Richard) using a double-decker bus for a mobile evangelistic Ministry into many of the towns and villages. Because of the growing number of converts and the need for discipleship, in 1992 the Lord inspired the founding of Elim Christian Center, and soon after Elim’s establishment, the Lord also began a Church in 1993. During their time in Poland they have also welcomed the birth of Katie and Sarah.
Ken has continued to serve as the director of the Elim Mission and the senior pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, with his wife as his help-meet.
The Herweynen’s 5 children are now grown, (ages 18 – 28 yrs) with 4 of them living back in Australia, and the youngest finishing her home-schooling. Two sons are married, and the 3rd has a lovely Christian girlfriend.
Thank you so much for the love, prayer, support and encouragement for this family through so many grateful years of ministry! They truly feel blessed to have experienced God’s amazing graciousness.
Tomek and Gosia Kulanica
…Came to the mission as children over 20 years ago taking part in the various children’s programs. Growing up, they both had experienced the effects of family alcoholism and hopelessness, and had wonderfully come at a young age to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Tomek was the first child-convert through the outreach ministry of the Mission. Many years later, after finishing high school, he attended Bible College in Australia in outback Bourke. Gosia completed her schooling and also spent time in Australia.
When Tomek returned from Australia, they fell in love and were soon married. The Lord called them to fulltime Christian service and they are now serving fulltime in the Bethel church. Tomek is the church’s second pastor, which has been a great answer to prayer.
God has blessed them with 2 wonderful children, Natan who is 8 and Emma who is 3.
Tomek is not only actively serving in the church in Pastoral care with teaching, preaching, worship and music ministry, but they are both also serving in youth ministry, children’s ministry, and a host of other outreaches. Gosia is also studying to qualify as a primary school teacher. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in raising up a committed Polish couple who are willing to serve God and their country in this way!
Robert and Aneta Solowoski
Robert came to the mission from a small town about 100 km east from Elim. He was required to serve his draft time in the Polish military. This gave him the opportunity to apply for civil service through the Elim Christian Mission. In 1993 he was one of the first in all of Poland granted this possibility. During his time of civil service, a local Christian girl named Aneta came regularly to help out at the Mission – she was also the first person to be baptized in 1993 by the Church at the Mission. Subsequently, they fell in love and were married in 1998. The Lord has blessed them with 4 children, Julia 13yrs, Eliza 11yrs, and their twin boys, Jonatan and Daniel, 5 yrs.
Robert and Aneta are currently serving as the Managers of the Elim Mission, involving the many duties in helping to lead and run the Mission, in administration, overseeing, physical labor, camps, guests, and the many other responsibilities. They are also active in a variety of ministries through the church, with Aneta involved In leading a Women’s Ministry, mentorship of women, and Children’s ministries.
Marian and Małgosia Kulanica
In 1993 Marian and Malgosia were drawn to visit the Mission because of the dramatic conversion of Malgosia’s mother, (who later came to serve at the Elim Mission. Some may remember Krystyna).
They felt that the warm Christian atmosphere and love which was reflected through those at the Mission was something they had not yet experienced, and it touched their hearts deeply, and they eventually gave their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. God dramatically changed their lives, delivering them from alcohol and other habits, and putting within their hearts a desire for nothing other than to completely surrender their lives for service for the Lord Jesus Christ They both gave up their jobs and professions for something they felt was far greater. They came to Elim as Missionaries in 1997. From that time onwards, they testify that this is the call for their lives, to serve Him in any way He would so choose to use them.
Marian has been one of the lead maintenance-men since the early years of Elim’s establishment, and many of the renovations have been made possible because of his hard work. For the last few years he has suffered great difficulties with his back, (due to certain work related activities before coming to the Mission), therefore his role has needed to change, and he now helps in advice and support roles, wherever he is able. He and Malgosia continue to lead some of the ministries within the church. Malgosia is greatly involved with the many women’s and children’s ministries, as well as some of the Mission’s administration, and heading up the Nativity Project. They have 5 children, between the ages 14 – 32. Michał, Tomek, Agata, Emek and Kasia. This family has been a tremendous blessing to the establishment and functioning of the Elim Christian center for many faithful years.
Pawel and Judy
Pawel arrived at the Mission in 1993. He came in need of Christ and soon after committed his life to Jesus. Judy is an American who met Pawel during a mission trip to Elim while serving with Cadence International/Malachi Ministries (Youth ministry to U.S. military families) in Mannheim, Germany. Over time, they fell in love and then married in June 1997. The Lord has blessed them with 3 beautiful children, Rachel 14, Joshua 12 and Jakub 5.
Pawel and Judy have been faithfully serving in the Mission and church in a variety of areas, within administration & guest care, church and mission finance, helping in children’s ministry and a host of other areas of mission outreach and service.
Lidka began attending programs held by the Mission at the local campground in 1991, back when neither Elim nor the church existed. She attended some of the outreach efforts to the locals. Lidka came along with her 2 children, attending some of the Bible studies and children’s programs. She became one of the first believers and later began serving with the Elim Mission full time in 2002.
Lidka has faithfully served in a number of capacities in the Mission and in the church since then. She has worked in the kitchen as head cook for most years, preparing up to 100 meals a day, and often far more during the camp season. Although the Mission cooking is now somewhat shared, she remains in charge of the kitchen and supplies. She also serves in the clothing room, the guest rooms, gardening, children’s ministries, discipleship, and in many, many other areas. She has 2 sons, Krystian 30 and Arek 27. Arek lives and works in Holland. Krystian is married to Gosia, and they have a 4 yr old daughter, Julia. Krystian was one of the first children to attend the Mission’s early children’s programs. He later became fluent in English, completed Bible school training in the USA, and now pastors a small church in the North of Poland. Lidka is a particularly humble servant of the Lord, with a truly willing heart.
Marzena became a Christian through outreach from the Mission. Some time afterwards she was abandoned by her husband. As a result, Marzena came to the Mission in 2008 as a place of refuge, eventually to be joined by her 2 children. Marzena faithfully helped out at the Mission during those years, with a willing and teachable spirit. She began praying about becoming a Mission helper, and was welcomed into the Mission to serve fulltime at the end of 2011. Marzena serves in so many practical areas within the ministry – in the Old People’s Home, the clothing room, with guests, Children’s work, cleaning and gardening, the nativity project, and helping in any area where she is asked. She is also actively involved in serving the Lord in the church. Her children are teenagers, Daria 16 and Kamil 15. Marzena has been a really joyful and special blessing.
People who help out each day
The Mission is a small hive of activity with people happily helping out each day. Some of the healthier folk who come to eat at the mission come a little earlier to give a hand before the hot meals, sweeping, peeling potatoes and gardening, adding a valuable and active part into the Mission! A few others come to work to support their families, and help out with the ongoing renovations in the Mission building.
Some photos below show some of the helpers at work.
Thank you all very much for working with us in so many different ways in sharing the Love of Christ to this country as well as investing in the lives of many visiting people from other nations. May God meet each and every need you have as you continue to seek Him and His will for your life.
Please continue to pray for us and with us in asking the Lord to send more mission staff. We have Positions available for non-Polish speakers in cooking, cleaning, grounds, buildings and vehicle maintenance.
Lots of love to all,
From all of the Elim Christian center staff.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.”